Bamboo Garden's authentic Sichuan cuisine floods palates with spicy flavor while diners relax in a sleek, bamboo-trimmed dining room. Dinner patrons can follow up hearty servings of dip-friendly green-onion pancakes ($3.99) with popular dishes such as the tongue-scorching spicy basil beef ($10.95) and eggplant swimming in hot garlic sauce ($8.95) and snorkeling between the rocky outcroppings of diners' teeth. On the Wild Side menu, sour-and-spicy jellyfish ($6.95) appeases taste buds looking for an adventure more palatable than hanging out with Lou Reed. Lunch specials include entrees such as chopped-pepper hot chicken ($5.99), which prove appetizingly fiery and capable of swiftly silencing hunger growls.
Facing East’s strip-mall façade bears the legend “Taiwanese Restaurant.” But you could equally call it a burger joint. That doesn’t mean ground beef and ketchup, but rather pork belly topped with pickled veggies, peanuts, and cilantro. The patties are served in pairs, although some diners, such as Seattle Magazine’s reviewers, wish they were sold "by the sackful." Of course, the restaurant also serves an abundance of Taiwanese food, such as pottage stew with squid or pork, sautéed lamb with taiwanese barbecue sauce, and sweet-potato-flour pancakes with oyster, vegetables, and egg. Because of Taiwan's long, tumultuous relationship with China, the cuisine is also full of familiar Chinese flavors, including sweet-and-sour spareribs, fried rice, and stir-fries. Guests gobble down these delicacies among sleek, shiny dark-wood tables, abstract paintings, recessed spotlighting, and screens that partition off the bustle of waiting customers or the howling of hungry wolves outside.
Regent Bakery & Cafe's authentic Chinese flavors couldn't be contained to just one meal. The restaurant started as a bakery specializing in Chinese pastries and cakes. As its popularity grew, so too did its menu—the staff began serving beef-stew and salted-fish hot pies, roast duck, and ma-pao tofu. Regent Bakery & Cafe now sports two full locations; the newest features a full bar that mixes up a selection of adult beverages and bubble teas, served inside a restaurant whose modern decor is lit by chandeliers and neon track lighting.
The Vibe: Canton Wonton House emanates a casual, no-frills vibe with simple tabletops and a few pieces of Chinese artwork on the walls. A long window looks in on the kitchen, so customers can see the chefs at work.
Congee: a thick rice porridge prepared with meat, fish, veggies, and other add-ins.
Bok choy: this vegetable looks like a thick stalk of celery with a white stem and large, green leaves; it's also known as chinese white cabbage.
While You’re in the Neighborhood
Before: Take a stroll through the not-too-distant past at Pink Gorilla (601 S King Street), which specializes in old video games.
After: Get all the essentials for a home-brewed cup of post-meal tea at New Century Tea Gallery (416 Maynard Avenue S).
If You Can’t Make It, Try This: King Noodle (615 S King Street), where you can build your own Chinese soup.
The broad, straightforward name of Lee's Asian Restaurant heralds a menu that visits just about every corner of its namesake continent. Prawns are cooked in an Indonesian-style marinade, eggrolls and sea scallops get Vietnamese treatment, udon noodles hail from Japan, and other meat and veggie entrees are dosed with the fire of classic Thai or Szechuan cuisine. The wide reach seems to be astoundingly successful. Among other satiated reviewers, the Seattle Times praised the "sophisticated and worldly" menu, whose text can be unscrambled into a helpful travel guide; they just about promise that Lee's will leave guests "smiling and munching all the way to the bottom of the enormous platters." Beyond the unassuming awning, red paper lanterns and teacup lights cast a honeyed glow on a large wood bar backed by wine racks. Warm sake offers an appropriately Asian alternative.